Sunday, March 11, 2018

JR Newsletter: 11 March 2018 (386)

David Finkelstein wrote:

WANTED FOR NUMISMATIC RESEARCH: Cull, damaged, and/or Poor-Fair 1795 Half Dollars.  Christopher Pilliod (metallurgist, numismatist, numismatic researcher, numismatic author, and President of the Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Club) and I are performing state of the art analysis and research of United States silver coins.  Currently, we want to purchase two 1795 Half Dollars.  The coins do not have to be round.  The coins can be bent, cleaned, corroded, cut, dented, environmentally damaged, engraved, holed, scraped, scratched, tooled, whizzed, and/or in a basal state.  We are not looking for quality.  We are looking for “cheap”.  The uglier and cheaper, the better.  All that is required is enough detail to confirm that the coin is a Flowing Hair Half Dollar.  Please contact David Finkelstein at dfinkelstein(at) with the number of coins available and the price.  Your name will be mentioned in our articles and presentations.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

JR Newsletter: 4 March 2018 (385)

Bill Nyberg wrote:

The Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association's 69th Annual Convention is March 16-18 at the Tukwila Community Center. On Saturday, two JRCS member presentations are scheduled in the Numismatic Theater. Gawain O'Connor collects Flowing Hair half dollars by die marriage, and will speak on these fascinating coins at 1:00. I will be giving a presentation on Chief Engraver Robert Scot at 12:00, and will have many examples of Scot's engraving.

More information is on the PNNA website Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association 

Thank you,

Bill Nyberg

Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association

William Nyberg
Keynote presentation - "Robert Scot - First Appointed Chief Engraver of the US Mint 1793 to 1823," including exhibit of 18th Century books showing some of Robert Scot’s work. (Also see related article in The Nor'wester.)
1:00 PM
Gawain O’Connor
"Flowing Hair Half Dollars 1794-1795." Presenting all the known varieties of the first half dollar designed by Robert Scot.

Jim Koenings wrote:

NEW  BOOK  ON  1836 - 1839 HALF  DOLLARS

Even with 425 copies of Dick Graham's fantastic book "A Registry of Die Varieties of Reeded Edge Half Dollars 1836-1839" produced, there are still too few collectors that know about Reeded Edge Halves.  I am attempting to inform additional collectors with my new book entitled "Reeded Edge Half Dollars 1836-1839 - R-4 to R-8 Die Varieties.  The book covers the history of previous authors on the subject and includes extra large photos of the 17 rarest die varieties (not including 1838-O, a proof only issue).  There are 38 photos, usually 6" in diameter, along with arrows pointing to the most obvious attributes.  The book has protective Mylar covers along with a spiral binding that allows you to open the book and lay it flat to see both pages of a particular die variety.  Below is a photo of the cover:

It is now available to JRCS members for $29 which includes shipping and handling.  If you would like a copy, please send a check or money order to:

            Jim Koenings
            P.O. Box 2382
            Riverside, CA 92516

If you would like your copy sooner, you can send payment through Paypal to my email address of bustcoin1(at)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

JR Newsletter: 25 February 2018 (384)

David Perkins wrote:

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries The March 2018 Baltimore Auction of U.S. Coins & Exonumia catalog arrived Saturday afternoon in the mail.  

In looking through the catalog, a 1798 silver dollar caught my eye.  Photo, credit Stack's Bowers, is below.

I’m usually looking for attractive and problem free examples of early dollars.  This particular coin was Graded “AU Details – Environmental Damage (PCGS)” and is not attractive at all.  The cataloger noted, “Wispy hairlines point to a cleaning, but more significant is scattered surface scale along the right obverse and reverse borders, as well as over Liberty’s portrait, which feature explains the PCGS qualifier.”  The cataloger also wrote, “Predominantly brilliant with plenty of bright satiny luster in evidence, the coin also retains sharp to full strikiing detail in virtually all areas of the design.”

What really caught my eye was the footnote which reads, “Recently discovered in 2017 in a rural dig in Haiti along with a group of Spanish 8 reales.”  This lustrous early dollar likely traveled from America to Haiti by ship sometime in the 1800s.  And then lay hidden in the ground for the next 150-200 years!

We can only wonder what stories this coin could tell….  

W. David Perkins

Sunday, February 18, 2018

JR Newsletter: 18 February 2018 (383)

David Perkins wrote:

I just received a copy of the February 2018 issue of COINage Magazine from Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez.  I was interviewed last year by McMorrow-Hernandez for an article on Draped Bust Dollars and the article was finally published in this issue.  Dealer Julian Leidman was also interviewed and quoted in the article.  Also included in this issue is an article by Bob Julian on 1804 Dollars.  And there is another article on the year 1799, “America Gets a new Mint and Loses a Father.”  Those interested in early history and the early dollars may want to pick up a copy at a local newsstand.  

The next issue of the John Reich Journal will likely be mailed in April.  This will be the first of three issues for Volume 28.  It is a good time for new members to send in an application for membership as well as current members who haven’t yet sent in their dues.  Details can be found on the JRCS Website at .  Checks (payable to JRCS) should be mailed out to JRCS at the JRCS PO Box.  Those members working on articles should plan to send them in the next few weeks to our JRCS President and long-time Editor, Brad Karloleff. 


W. David Perkins

Sunday, February 11, 2018

JR Newsletter: 11 February 2018 (382)

We received the following from David Finkelstein:

Linked is an article for the JR Newsletter that identifies and discusses new circumstantial evidence about when 1794 Half Dismes were struck.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

JR Newsletter: 4 February 2018 (381)

David Perkins received a press release from Carl Wolf of the Chicago Coin Club with sad news about the passing of Phil Carrigan:


Philip J. Carrigan (73) passed away January 29, 2018. He joined the Chicago Coin Club May 10, 1989 as member 1013. Phil was a life member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), served as the Education Chairman at the Chicago 1999 ANA Convention, worked as a volunteer at Chicago’s 2011, 2013-15 ANA Conventions and received the ANA Presidential Award in 2014.

Phil had a deep interest in Barber coinage. In 1989 he became a charter member of the Barber Coin Collectors’ Society, served as President (1994-2015), made many contributions to their journal and received their 2015 Award of Appreciation. He was a charter member of the John Reich Collectors Society and a member of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society where he also served on their Board.
Phil collected Canadian and Maritime decimal coins and tokens, was a life member of the Canadian Numismatic Association and attended most of their annual conventions.

Phil was an avid collector of Canadian and United States numismatic literature, including books, auction catalogues, fixed price lists and related material. He enjoyed reading the history of early collectors as told through the auction of their collections. His library was so large, he frequently wondered if it was too heavy for the second floor of his home. Phil was a recognized figure at most major numismatic literature auctions and recognized as an expert in the field.

A native of Massachusetts, Phil earned an undergraduate pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, a master’s degree from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. in pharmacokinetics from the University of Connecticut. He finished graduate studies at University of Buffalo. He joined Abbott Laboratories in 1974 and served for thirty years working in the area of pharmaceutical research and development. In 1985 he was inducted into Abbott’s prestigious Volwiler Society which recognizes their most distinguished scientists and engineers.

Phil is survived by his wife Mary Clare Jakes, daughter Erin Carrigan, son-in-law Jeremy Bell and twin granddaughters Audrey and Elizabeth.

Phil was a dedicated volunteer and advocate in Waukegan and Lake County, Illinois. He was elected as a Trustee at the College of Lake County and also served as Chairman of the Board. He worked tirelessly with numerous organizations dedicated to helping the homeless, the hungry and visiting prisoners. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Eddie Washington Center, which provides transitional housing for homeless single men in Lake County Illinois.

Carl F. Wolf
Chicago Coin Club
773-771-1311 Cell

Editor’s note:  Members of the JRCS will recall that Phil enjoyed collecting bust coinage too.  Phil and I had many conversations about bust half dimes and bust dimes (and our New England roots).  In fact, Phil had a nearly-complete collection of Capped Bust Half Dimes.  I remember Phil’s excitement in obtaining his 91st (out of 92 known) Capped Bust Half Dime die marriage at the ANA show in Chicago.  He had been searching a long time for an 1833 LM-5 and became the proud owner of a PCGS G-6 at that show. 

Richard Meaney

David Finkelstein sent the following request:

WANTED: Cull, damaged, and/or Poor-Fair 1795 Half Dollars.  Christopher Pilliod (metallurgist, numismatist, numismatic researcher, numismatic author, and President of the Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Club) and I are performing state of the art analysis and research of United States silver coins.  Currently, we want to purchase five 1795 Half Dollars.  The coins do not have to be round.  The coins can be holed, severely damaged, or in a basal state.  We are not looking for quality.  We are looking for “cheap”.  The uglier and cheaper, the better.  All that is required is enough detail to confirm that the coin is a Flowing Hair Half Dollar.  Please contact David Finkelstein at dfinkelstein(at) with the number of coins available and the price.  Your name will be mentioned in our articles and presentations.